About four months ago, Phoenix Suns President and CEO Rick Welts shocked everyone by publicly announcing that he's gay. Now, he's pulling another stunner by resigning his position, via the Arizona Republic.
His reason: He wants to focus on his personal life more.
Suns' general counsel Jason Rowley will replace Welts on an interim basis and also will be a candidate in the team's national search for a replacement.
Welts told The Arizona Republic Friday morning that he is not leaving for another job but to be in another city. In the past year, Welts started a new relationship and his partner is in Sacramento. He plans to do speaking engagements and perhaps take an offer to write a book.
"The most important thing for me is to get my personal and professional lives better aligned," Welts said. "They've probably never been aligned. I'm 58 years old and it's time to do that.
"This isn't one of those departures to see greener pastures. It really is completely a personal situation. These guys have been tremendously accommodating and any other inference than that is absolutely crazy."
Other than the big news he made months ago, Welts is probably most famously known for being the mind behind the NBA's All-Star Weekend as well as a primary promoter of the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team." (Welts is credited with coming up with the name.) He is also credited with being a major part of the WNBA's creation in 1996.
Welts has been with the Suns since 2002 and was primarily in charge of boosting ticket sales and relieving then general manager Jerry Colangelo of some of his day-to-day business duties.